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Deficient Roads, Traffic Cost Connecticut Drivers $5.1 Billion Annually

A new transportation report says drivers in Connecticut are paying high prices for deficient and congested roads.
A new transportation report says drivers in Connecticut are paying high prices for deficient and congested roads. Photo Credit: File photo

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Roads and bridges that are deficient, congested or lack desirable safety features cost Connecticut motorists a total of $5.1 billion annually –over $2,200 per driver in the Fairfield County area – due to higher vehicle operating costs, crashes and congestion-related delays, according to a new report released by TRIP, a Washington-based national transportation

The TRIP report, “Connecticut’s Top Transportation Issues: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout Connecticut, 33 percent of major locally and state-maintained urban roads are in poor condition.

More than a third of Connecticut’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, it said. And nearly 1,300 people were killed in crashes on Connecticut’s roads from 2009 to 2013.

The TRIP report calculated the cost to motorists of insufficient roads is $2,222 per driver in the Bridgeport-Stamford area, $2,236 per driver in Hartford and $2,050 per driver in New Haven.

“Our congested roads and antiquated transportation system is creating real costs for drivers, families, and businesses in Connecticut,” said State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk/Darien). “Improving our transportation network is critically important to our economic future and our quality of life. The General Assembly is working to improve these conditions and this year made a once-in-a-generation investment in our transportation infrastructure.

"We must continue to invest at the local, state, and federal levels to make our roads safer, reduce traffic and improve the lives of those using our roads.”

The federal surface transportation program is a critical source of funding in Connecticut. From 2009 to 2013, the federal government provided $1.75 for road improvements in Connecticut for every dollar the state paid in federal motor fuel fees.

Following numerous short-term extensions passed by Congress, the current federal surface transportation legislation is set to expire Dec. 4. Congress will need to pass new legislation before the extension expiration to ensure prompt federal reimbursements to states for road, highway, bridge and transit repairs and improvements.

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